This is seriously, my favorite time of year. I look forward to Rodeo season more than Christmas. THIS IS A TRUE STATEMENT. Everything about the Rodeo excites me! I love the Rodeo so much that I joined a Rodeo committee to be more involved (and for my gold badge of course)! I am on the Go Tejano Committee. I have been attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for many years and I have learned a lot throughout the years. There is so much to learn and do, so if you haven't been, make it a priority to go this season, if you have already, you know how much fun the experience is!
ABOUT THE HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW AND RODEO
A little back history on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; The Houston Rodeo has been around since 1932. It attracts millions of people a year and is the LARGEST Rodeo in the nation. Just last year there was a total of 2,611,176 attendees during the Rodeo season. HLSR (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo) takes place at NRG Stadium and Center. HLSR promote the breeding, raising and marketing of better livestock and farm products at public fairs and to promote and maintain research and educational functions within the livestock industry. They raise millions of dollars in scholarships. Alone the Go Tejano committee raised enough funds to provide 20, $20,000 scholarships last year.
The actual Rodeo starts February 27th and runs all the way until March, 18th. The Houston Rodeo takes place at NRG Stadium and center. Parking is a big deal so make sure to check all possible alternatives like the Metrorail or Park and rides. You can pay for parking at the Rodeo in the Yellow lot. Parking last year was $20. Anything and everything you need to know can be located on the HLSR website. I provided the link to the transportation page and a link for the Rodeo website for additional information.
Before moving on to the attractions, here are some important dates to keep in mind for the Rodeo
Thursday, Saturday, February 22-24 // BBQ Cook-Off
Tuesday, February 27 // Rodeo Opening Day
Friday, February 23 // Go Texan Day
Saturday, February24 // Rodeo Run 9:10am
Saturday, February 24 // Downtown Rodeo Parade 10:00am
Wednesday, February 28 - Armed Forces Appreciation Day
Friday, March 2 // Black Heritage Day
Sunday, March 11 // Go Tejano Day
Sunday, March 18 // Rodeo Closing Day
It's not what you know, it's WHO you know. The Rodeo cook-off kicks off Thursday, February 22nd and ends Saturday, February 24th. The cook-off is what starts the Season off! A lot of people get confused about what the cook off is and how you can get in on all the fun. Here are some FAQ's to help you
General admission to the Fairgrounds DOES NOT include admission into a tent
Each tent has sponsors and in order to get in you WILL NEED a wristband from them
If you have a wrist band for a tent, you still need to purchase admission to get into the Fairgrounds
Purchasing wrist bands - The tents usually include food and alcoholic beverages, most tents are open bar. You can find people selling wristbands on Craigslist, or on Facebook forums. BE cautious of whom you are buying from. Wrist bands usually vary from $50-$75 and up, for one single wristband. (That's why I mentioned, it's not what you know, it's who you know)!
All in All, the cook-off is a great time, it's a huge drinking fest and I promise, you will have the best BBQ you have ever tasted!
The Rodeo show is something you do not want to miss! From bull riding to barrel racing to the cutest junior cowboys and cowgirls holding on to a sheep for dear life. The rodeo has what is called a "Super Series" where the best of the best compete for $$ and are awarded the champion of their skill. The actual Rodeo / competition starts at 6:45 on the week days and 3:45 on the weekends.
One of my favorites besides the mutton bustin' is the calf scramble. The calf scramble is where students compete to win a $1,750 certificate to purchase a registered beef heifer or market steer to show at the 2019 Houston Livestock Show. They have to chase these calves around the stadium and once they get a hold of one, they have to get them into the designated area. It sounds A LOT easier than what it is! It is exciting to watch, so make sure you arrive with enough time before the entertainer to enjoy the ENTIRE show!
Now, the extra fun stuff, the concerts! The concerts are ALWAYS amazing, there really isn't a bad seat in the house. This is probably going to be the best concert series for the reason that they have built a bigger and better stage! Below you will find the 2018 Rodeo Houston star entertainment lineup. Incase you are wondering, I am most excited to see Chris Stapleton! The performers usually go on stage at 8:45pm on the weekdays and on the weekends they go on stage at 5:45pm.
Tickets can be purchased on the HLSR website, or through Flash seats.
CARNIVAL, FOOD, & AGVENTURE
The Rodeo has many attractions for all ages. A big part of the rodeo is to learn about agriculture. You can explore "Agventure" in NRG Center and find many kid activities and animals of every species. My favorite part of Agventure is getting to see all the pigs and their piglets. There is a lot of hands on areas so the kids will have a blast.
After exploring and taking 101 pictures of the animals, the biggest attraction at the rodeo is the carnival. We may say it's all for the kiddos but let's get real, we all LOVE rides. The carnival has so many rides to entertain toddlers to adults. Not a huge ride fan, NO PROBLEM! There are games of all kinds, from ring toss to basketball. If you are taking a date to the rodeo, make sure to impress him or her with winning them a giant stuffed animal. Remember, everything is bigger in Texas!
If the rides, animals, and games haven't impressed you yet, no worries, THE FOOD WILL. It never fails for me to start my rodeo adventure with a turkey leg or sausage on a stick and end it with fried oreos. You can get everything from giant corn dogs, funnel cakes, and deep fried EVERYTHING. Make sure you wear your loose jeans because you will indulge in the best southern food of your life.
In case you are wondering about how the rides work, I will break it down quickly for you.
Every ride requires tickets
There is a height requirement on majority of the rides and for the kiddie rides adults typically can ride with their child
SOME games can be used with tickets
Tickets can be purchased on the fairgrounds
If you are trying to get more bang for your buck, I HIGHLY suggest purchasing a half price carnival pack. The carnival pack is $50 and includes 150 tickets for the rides and some games. It also has a lot of different coupons. (I mean, who doesn't love coupons) I provided a link below so you can purchase yours today! But don't wait too long, the deadline to purchase the carnival packs is Saturday, February 24th.
Sales Person - Kathy Artiga
I know this is A LOT of information, but I hope I was able to break it down for everyone. Wishing everyone the best Rodeo Season yet! YEEHAW! and If you see me at the Rodeo, Come say Hi!! I would love to meet y'all!